You didn’t love Dwight Howard as much as Derrick Rose and LeBron James when it came time to award the MVP last year (I know you didn’t get to vote on that, neither did I, but sentiment on this site ran heavy to Rose among commenters).
But you love him now.
Howard, the Magic’s center, is the leading vote getter in the East and overall in the first All-Star ballot returns released by the NBA Thursday. The game is scheduled for Feb. 26 in Orlando. (And you wonder why Orlando isn’t going to seriously consider trades for Howard until after that game.)
James leads all forwards and is second in the East, followed closely for second overall by Rose.
Out West, Kobe Bryant is the overall vote leader followed closely by Kevin Durant. But look who is the current leading vote getter to be the West’s starting center?
By the way — if you are thinking of voting for JaVale McGee at center in the East, you should vote for Al Horford instead. And same with Jose Calderon, the Toronto guard who has outplayed Deron Williams so far this season. Just a suggestion.
Here are the first round of results (top 5 at each position). There are 19 days of voting left.
Forwards: LeBron James (Miami) 640,789; Carmelo Anthony (New York) 496,351; Amar’e Stoudemire (New York) 178,797; Kevin Garnett (Boston) 173,161; Chris Bosh (Miami) 140,601.
Guards: Derrick Rose (Chicago) 640,476; Dwyane Wade (Miami) 637,912; Rajon Rondo (Boston) 253,969; Ray Allen (Boston) 174,934; Deron Williams (New Jersey) 89,128.
Centers: Dwight Howard (Orlando) 754,737; Joakim Noah (Chicago) 75,038; Tyson Chandler (New York) 61,774; Joel Anthony (Miami) 41,832; JaVale McGee (Washington) 24,713.
Forwards: Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) 633,538; Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers) 394,264; Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas) 231,832; Pau Gasol (L.A. Lakers) 185,428; Kevin Love (Minnesota) 143,814.
Guards: Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers) 690,613; Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers) 540,173; Ricky Rubio (Minnesota) 133,520; Steve Nash (Phoenix) 118,922; Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma city) 107,197.
Centers: Andrew Bynum (L.A. Lakers) 496,597; DeAndre Jordan (L.A. Clippers) 134,961; Marc Gasol (Memphis) 102,116; Nenê (Denver) 94,167; Marcin Gortat (Phoenix) 62,631.